Martin Luther King’s Speech, “I Have a Dream” Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


One of the finest explanations of American’s dream is the powerful speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. He delivered the speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, in Washington D.C. The speech is mainly centered on racial equality and stoppage of discrimination.

At that time, racial segregation ruled in almost all places: be it schools, neighborhoods and even in social places. With violence and riots so often, it was a disturbing moment for America although the U.S government was doing nothing to change the situation. Through the speech, Dr. King was educating inspiring and informing both the civil supporters and the unborn generation in the world to reach out to their dreams and giving his audience hope for a better future.


Up to the time when he was delivering the speech, African Americans were still under slavery from the white people as indicated in the below excerpt.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination…….One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land (Luther, 1963, para. 2).

The speech depicts the idea that someone can actually be anything that he dreams of becoming. Dr. King suggested that America is a land full of opportunities and that Americans should maximize on them. Before transforming the world, he saw the need to begin in America. Dr. King began the speech with a rhetoric phrase, ’Now is the time’, a tool that he used throughout speech. In the sixth paragraph of his speech, he used the phrase six times.

He was echoing to his audience to get hold of the moment. More so he used the phrase, ‘I have a dream eight times. By so doing he was echoing future hope for the people that will make them forget about all the slavery sufferings and injustices that they had faced while under slavery.

This is a sign of hope for the future too. He brought in the idea of slavery to suggest that it is still operational in today’s world. By using the word ‘slave-owners’, Dr. King was referring to the white, however to calm any tension between the black and the white people, he re-unites them by saying, “… will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood” (Luther, 1963, para.12).

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners ………, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice…. I have a dream today (Luther, 1963, para.12).

The dream in the above context symbolizes the aspirations that Dr. King had of America setting the stage for the rest of the world. He also says that ‘this nation will rise up’ meaning that he had fathomed a revolution time when the Americans will be accepted as right persons in the States (Luther, 1963, para.12).


There was an established racial discrimination that is why he sent such a strong message to the white. More importantly is the fact that his words were advocating for peace hence providing the vision that anyone would buy it. There above discussion hence shows that Martin Luther King, Jr was really, an effective public speaker.

Reference List

Luther, M. (1963). I have a dream. Retrieved

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